It varies from person to person I’m sure. Laziness. Self-doubt. Lack of reliable stationery.
In many cases, it’s all of the above.
For me, it’s usually the first two. But mostly, it’s the second.
There’s the excuse of “Oh, like I totally would get it off the ground, but I just don’t have the money or the time” etc.
That may be the case, but both of those things are still connected to the first bracket of obstacles. In this relatively selfish, stream-of-consciousness blog post, I can admit that what usually stops me from really pushing myself forward with a single idea is that annoying pest most people refer to as fear.
Specifically, it’s the fear of rejection. Putting yourself out there creatively only to get it thrown back in your face. No one wants to hear that another person didn’t like what they made. It’s like getting dumped. It stings. Even the smallest comment like “The editing was a bit choppy”, “I was a bit confused by the ending” or “Alex, you’re too needy, stop texting me” can utterly destroy the soul from inside. And that’s people being specific. In the film industry, it can be as simple as a “Yeah it was good” or just a half-enthused “…Eh“.
This fear can cause many side-effects: anxiety, self-doubt, laziness, and in my case, crying hysterically under the bed-sheets whilst listening to Adele. The fear of rejection will keep me from writing a sentence, since as soon as I write it, I’ll think “Will people like this?”/”Does this make sense?”/”Is this funny?”/”Do I even know what I’m writing about?“/”I’ll never become successful anyway“, and then I’ll immediately delete it and stare blankly into my computer screen for about five minutes before watching another episode of Arrested Development and calling it “study”.
I feel like when someone judges my own piece of work, they’re judging me as a person. Especially with the more personal pieces of work, if someone shuts you down it just becomes game over.
Arrested Development reference. Couldn’t help it.
I don’t see writer’s block as a physical block per say. More of a writer’s mirror.
The only way to motivate yourself out of nothingness is to stop deflecting your own projections and push through it. You need to stop hating on the bits that you don’t like, and instead, work to improve on them. Trim the fat, as they say. No comparisons either. Its silly to think that your current work will never be as sexy or have as much chest hair as it did in the past.
Even if it’s not perfect, in the early stages of trying to craft a skill, it never hurts to just keep practicing. Like riding a bike. You won’t go far if you’re too worried about crashing before you push off.
I have great envy for those with the confidence to always go 100% with an idea, a project, or whatever it is that they do. If this is you, I congratulate you for being super-human, and I hope you never give up.
Maybe what’s ironic about this whole thing is that I’m writing this blog post instead of actually doing something about my next short film.
….I’m sure I’ll do it tomorrow.